[linux-elitists] We should thank SCO

Bulent Murtezaoglu bm@acm.org
Wed Jan 15 01:48:54 PST 2003

    LMA> ...  Also, there was some talk about funding a group
    LMA> to comb open source for patentable technology, and using that
    LMA> to help create a defensive open source patent pool. ...

I am not sure the US patent law allows this, you only get a window of 
one year _AFAIR_ to patent an idea after it is published.  So when you
actually do find patentable inventions in open source they probably 
will have been out in the open too long for them to be patentable.
IANAL and it has been some time since I looked into this, I but I am
pretty sure this kind of retroactive search is tough to turn into 
patents.  Especially when you effectively licence the inventions out 
before the patent app (think BSD and LGPL).

What might be a workable is funding the patent application process
(PPI?) for inventors who don't care for the hassle or can't afford the
process for something they don't inted to attempt to make money form.
A scheme could be cooked up where PPI gets an innocuous licence for
actually patenting the invention.  A culture would need to be
cultivated among developers so that they are motivated to go beyond
'this patent shit sucks' and actually understand how the patent office
works and what parts of their handiwork migh be patentable.

I'd also be surprised if this is the first time someone said this.



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